By Rick Long
Our vision statement at Atonement Free Lutheran Church in Arlington is “Building individuals and families in Christ … to reach a needy world.”
With that statement we are reminding ourselves that Jesus is the ultimate answer for each individual, family and nation. So our first objective is to help individuals understand who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Jesus is the Son of God who came into the world to save us. He did that by taking responsibility for the guilt and punishment for our sin. He did that by going to the cross where He suffered and died in our place. But the good news is that Jesus rose again from the dead, confirming that His sacrifice for sin is complete. All who see their sin and trust in Jesus as Savior can have the assurance of forgiveness and eternal life.
Our aim is to help as many as people as possible to hear that message because we understand that it will change their lives. It not only gives a person the assurance of eternal life but also gives peace, purpose and a desire to live a life of grateful praise.
In addition to bringing individuals to that place of assurance in Jesus, we also work to build strong families around God’s design for marriage and family. Family is God’s basic building block for society, where individuals should be surrounded with love, acceptance and wise guidance. Strong families produce strong individuals who are a blessing to others and society in general. Strong families are built by teaching the wisdom for marriage and parenting that comes from God’s Word, since He is the designer of life and family.
So, what are we doing to address needs in our community? We believe that reaching individuals for Christ one by one and helping other families see and understand God’s design for families are among the most important things we can do.
In addition, we love to contribute to the work of the Arlington Food Bank, provide an annual Thanksgiving dinner for disabled adults through Eagle Wings DisAbility Ministries, support the work of the Living Hope House for expectant, single, homeless women, involve many of our people in the work of the Pregnancy Resource Center in Everett, and other avenues for tangible support of people’s needs.
Two of the unique ministries of Atonement are our River youth ministry with its strong emphasis on evangelism and discipleship, and our music ministry led by Summer Long and supported by the many gifted vocalists that God has brought to our church family. These special ministries, together with a commitment to solid, Bible-centered preaching in all of our services, contribute to make Atonement a strong church home for all who God leads to it.
Rick Long is pastor of the Atonement Free Lutheran Church in Arlington.